Poet's Pad: "God, Why Don’t You Wear Pajamas?"
God, Why Don’t You Wear Pajamas?
I call you Father.
Yes, I call you the word which I use for that imperfect man,
Loving in his failing and failing in his loving,
Who taught me to throw and catch and drive a stick,
One hand controlling my fate and the other my speed,
That man quickly faded to wrinkle and gray,
Who gave me blue eyes and brown hair
And a nose straight from a comic book.
This is the name I call you. Father. Dad.
I remember the day he went from Daddy to Dad,
From personal to distant, from close to an arm's length.
(I have long arms,
Long enough to scoop a ball in the dirt
Or reach the steering wheel with my seat all the way back.)
I woke up with a Daddy on the day he taught me to shave.
I bled, three nicks.
I rinsed the lather, saw patches of lingering fuzz and red tissue.
I left that bathroom with a Father, like you,
Someone to shake hands with but not to cuddle,
Someone with hands but not arms,
Someone who fixed my wounds with a drive to the hospital
And not a kiss.
There was no superhero, just a balding man
And a God in a business suit.
God, why don't you wear pajamas?
I want to have a Daddy, not a Father who art in heaven.
Can you have big hands and warm arms too,
Inviting and comfortable and even a little bit like mom's?
(Or should I say mommy's?)
These arms are my sacred place, or they would be
If home was where I was held the tightest.